December 6th, 2012
04:50 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, December 6

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge married on April 29, 2011. Future royal weddings could see a Catholic marrying into the royal family.

CNN: Catholics to be allowed into the royal club (sort of)
Britain is about to change a 300-year-old rule. British kings and queens – who serve as the official leaders of the Church of England – will soon be allowed to marry Roman Catholics. The historic change will end a centuries-long ban on such interdenominational nuptials.

CNN: Medical advice from the Dalai Lama's doctor
Dr. Tsewang Tamdin, a world-renowned expert in Tibetan medicine, visited Emory University in Atlanta on Monday as part of his effort to reach more American medical practitioners. He wants to develop collaborative projects between the Tibetan medicine system, which is more than 2,500 years old, and Western medicine. "While others might consider the holistic practice of Tibetan medicine 'alternative medicine' or a kind of side practice, I would like for others outside of our system to consider the Tibetan healing system full-fledged healing," Tamdin said. "Tibetan medical knowledge has tremendous potential to add to modern medicine."

CNN: Rubio clarifies age of the earth answer
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida attempted to clear up Wednesday his controversial answer to a question about the earth's age last month. "Science says (the earth) is about 4.5 billion years old. My faith teaches that's not inconsistent," Rubio said at a Politico Playbook Breakfast in Washington. "God created the heavens and the earth, and science has given us insight into when he did it and how he did it." "The more science learns," he continued, "the more I am convinced that God is real."

Tweet of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/iamepiscopalian/status/276526376524320768%5D

Photo of the Day:

Photo credit: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani Christians carry photographs of Swedish Christian charity worker Bargetta Almby, who was injured in an attack by gunmen, as they offer prayers for her early recovery at a Church in Lahore on December 5, 2012. Gunmen shot Almby, 72, a female Christian charity worker from Sweden, leaving her hospitalized, police said. Almby, who is managing director in Pakistan of Full Gospel Assemblies, which describes itself as a 'church fellowship' founded in the United States with congregations worldwide, was attacked when she arrived in front of her home in the Model Town neighborhood in Lahore on December 3, 2012.

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: All Saints Church, Hosting Muslim Public Affairs Council Convention, Receives Threats, Hate Mail
For the first time in its history, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is holding its annual convention at a Christian church. But now the council's host, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., is facing vitriolic backlash. The church has received over 25 hate emails and threats since Friday, Rev. Susan Russell, senior associate for communications at All Saints, told The Huffington Post Wednesday. She blogged about the MPAC event for HuffPost Tuesday, and spoke to the negative reception the church has faced so far.

Reuters: Dutch blasphemy law to fall and Irish one may follow
Laws criminalising blasphemy are set to be struck down soon in the Netherlands and may disappear in Ireland, but rising tensions in economically battered Greece seem to be reviving pressure to prosecute offences against God. Blasphemy appears more frequently in headlines from the Muslim world, where countries such as Pakistan or Saudi Arabia readily punish perceived critics of Islam, but a lesser known trend is a general movement in Europe away from such laws.

The Guardian: Newham council rejects plans for one of Britain's largest mosques
Controversial plans by an Islamic missionary group to build one of Britain's largest mosques have been rejected. Proposals to build the religious center with three times the floor space of St Paul's Cathedral and room for nearly 10,000 worshippers in east London were dismissed at a council meeting on Wednesday.

Reuters: Israel gets same-sex divorce even before it has same-sex marriage
An Israeli court has awarded the country’s first divorce to a gay couple, which experts called an ironic milestone since same-sex marriages cannot be legally conducted in the Jewish state. A decision this week by a family court in the Tel Aviv area “determined that the marriage should be ended” between former Israeli lawmaker Uzi Even, 72, and his partner of 23 years, Amit Kama, 52, their lawyer, Judith Meisels, said on Tuesday.

The Guardian: Bristol University Christian Union performs U-turn on female speakers
A university Christian union that came under attack for not allowing women to teach at its main meetings has now said it will allow both sexes to preach at all events. Bristol University Christian Union (BUCU) is being investigated after a memo emerged revealing women could not teach at its weekly meetings, and could only teach in some other settings with a husband.

Religion News Service: Jerusalem restaurants sue over rabbis’ kosher certification rules
Five Jerusalem restaurant owners have filed suit against the city’s Chief Rabbinate, saying the rules for kosher certification are expensive, onerous and inconsistent. The lawsuit represents the latest legal challenge against what many Israelis say is an increasingly coercive ultra-Orthodox religious establishment. The restaurants are among almost a dozen establishments that recently severed their ties with the Rabbinate’s kosher supervisors, who are charged with ensuring that the food being prepared meets strict Jewish dietary laws.

Quote of the Day:

My brothers and sisters, you stood with people who were oppressed because of their skin color. If you are going to be true to the Lord you worship, you are also going to be there for the people who are being oppressed for something they can do nothing about: their sexual orientation.

- On Tuesday, December 04, 2012 Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged Ugandan government officials to nullify a draft law that would imprison gays and lesbians and possibly put them at risk of the death penalty.

Opinion of the Day:

My Take: The religious roots of our political gridlock
Mark Osler, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, explains how the divide between Democrats and Republicans on issues like the fiscal cliff is "tangled up in the faith differences of our legislators.”

Join the conversation…

CNN: WWJD...about taxes?
Dig under the rhetoric over taxes in Washington now, and you’ll find one question: should the wealthy pay more in taxes than other people? It’s a question that goes back to the Bible. Geoffrey Miller is a law professor at New York University who’s written about taxation in the Bible. He writes about the Temple Tax, the one God told Moses to impose in Exodus 30. It’s the one where each person, rich and poor, pays half a shekel – for the Temple – and God.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. lionlylamb

    "Does not cosmological similarities of the inner and the outer make a sense worthy of one confronting such a view?" Likewise, "How many universes are their in but one Cosmos?" and also, "If X equates the numerical value of universes within Y being but one Cosmos just how many singular Cosmos are there in the cosmologic equilibrium of Z the unknowable?"

    December 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  2. Jim

    Blogs been a little boring the past couple days. Thought i'd throw in a funny, enjoy.

    An Atheist and a Christian get in a car wreck together. The Atheist sees the Christian's crucifix necklace and begins talking about how lucky they are to be alive, and the Christian says God granted it. The Atheist then says, "To celebrate God keeping his hand of protection on us, let us have a drink of wine together". The Atheist hands the Christian the wine and he takes a big sip then hands it back to the Atheist. The Atheist in turn, without drinking, gives the bottle back to the Christian and says, "No, I'll just wait until the police get here, then I'll celebrate."

    December 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      DId you hear about why Heisenberg's wife left him. Turns out when he had the energy he didn't have the time, and when he had the position, he didn't have the momentum.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Higgs Boston walks into a Catholic church. The priest yes, "hey -get out of here. We don't let your kind in here.'

      The Higgs Boston looks sadly at the priest and says, "how can you have mass without me?"

      December 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's Higgs boson.

      December 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      A theoretical physcisist walks into a bar, very depressed. He says to the guy next to him, "I just learned that eventually all of the hydrogen that fuels stars will run out and the universe will be completely dark, isn't that sad?." The guy next to him replies, "I'm blind you a**hole."

      December 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • cg

      is this suppose to be all responses to the faith cnn blog, just started to read it occasionally, i do not understand the comments people post. for the most part the people seem so filled with anger and not anything really positive or useful to say. Well, heres hoping everyone a great day, and Merry Christmas, and a brighter look on life.

      December 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  3. ME II

    lol, I went to the Belief Blog and got:

    "Not Found
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here."

    Excellent answer, lol

    December 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      LOL, nice catch!

      Sums up my story.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Akira

      I found it odd that they took down the West Point story.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  4. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Anyone know why they pulled the West Point Story?

    December 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Pete

      I'm sure the military threatened to bomb CNN if they didn't remove the story since it made them look horrible.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  5. ME II

    Hmm, what happened to the cadet story?


    Not Found
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

    December 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Pete

      I was wondering about that myself.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • { ! }

      The west point cadet story might have been pulled because of the silliness of it. The kid resented prayer, but didn't mind being trained to mindlessly kill in military style. Why didn't the kid join the chinese army and get the best of both worlds?

      December 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It moved here:


      December 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  6. Which God?

    @ 4th through 1st= that many azzhole pi's he's sukking

    December 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • pi


      December 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  7. myweightinwords

    The holiday season is upon us and we all have unique family traditions.

    I have fond memories of my childhood, when we would spend Christmas Eve at my Aunt Bonnie's house, exchanging trinket gifts and watching for Santa. There was this guy who would walk the neighborhood dressed as Santa and stop at every house to talk to the kids and hand out candy canes.

    In later years, we would spend Christmas Eve at candlelight services at church. And on Christmas Eve, just before bed, we were allowed to open one present. It was always new pajamas, so that we'd be presentable in Christmas morning pictures.

    Today, I tend to spend Yule alone. I meditate (in the dark) on the season, on finding the light in the darkness, on the stillness of the deep reaches of winter, when the earth rests and prepares for the coming spring. I pass the longest night with this in my thoughts and come morning, as the sun rises, I light a candle on my altar to welcome the return of the light.

    Of course, I still spend Christmas day with my family. We gather at my mother's house to exchange gifts and we share memories, play games, prepare a meal together and eat together.

    What are your family traditions for the holidays?

    December 6, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Huebert

      The Christmas traditions that stick with me are all food based. As far back as anyone in my family can remember we have always had tenderloin and biscuits on Christmas morning. The location changes, sometimes it's at my grandmother's house sometimes it's at my my mother's or my aunt's, but we always gather as many people together as possible and have tenderloin and biscuits.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:16 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Many food memories in our family too...from the finger food spread on Christmas Eve to the tea ring breakfast on Christmas day....yum...

        December 6, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Money is god

      I celebrate the solstice a few days before the 25th, welcoming the new celestial year. On the 25th we celebrate Sir Isaac Newtons birthday.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:22 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I likewise celebrate solstice/Yule.

        I was unaware that Sir Isaac Newton was born on 12/25.

        December 6, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • lionlylamb

      The family traditions I do face are with my nephew and niece and the niece's now 3 children. Brother and I do buy their gifts shortly before the holiday's coming return. Gift cards for brother's two children usually of $20.oo each. He and I search thru the toys department of Walmart looking for special gifts to give to brother's three grandchildren. Money being tight these trying days, I use my credit card to by all the gifts and pay it off before the next season does come.

      My brother's son is in the Navy and is due home for the holidays December 15th. Most likely brother's only son has taken two weeks leave. My brother is very proud of his two children who have grown up not in the best of family issues but nevertheless they have turned out okay! I do so love my brother's family since I have none of my own to so cherish. I am humbly proud to have been able to be a part of brother's life and also his blossoming family tree.

      May all people find tendered solaces on this year's momentous pleasantries and may you all be of good comforts in knowing life should be cherished above all things dismissively viewed being bitter laments in lieu of better things to willfully come. Blessed are the ones who have little comforts but are satisfied with that which befalls them for meaning-felt love hurts are ever boundless and beyond reproaches of ill willed sentiments regardless of deniability regulating one's love worth having as in memorable meanings of fondness ways even if the moments never shall last.

      My love pours out to all without measures,
      aka G.O.D.
      (God's Oldest Dreamer)

      December 6, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Akira

      We drive around to look at the lights.
      We have done this since I was a young child; I continued the tradition with my children, and now my grandchild.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ LL =goDs oldest incoherent fool.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @Which God?

      Don't talk about that crazy old fuck Mr. Lamb like that!!

      December 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Hello A.B.Seer!

      I see you're up to being a good person for goodness sakes! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      December 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I don't want santa to skip my house!!

      December 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A.B. seas,

      I have almost everything I need! Anything else is just like icing on my cake! Good? Not always. Bad? Hardly ever! Can I have my cake now? With icing!

      December 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    “Last night all have slept, this morning all have risen. Today's hours are so numbered and marked. Living is no more a palatable issuance of wonderments. Love is in bitter pieces and left upon the dung heaps of desperations ills gone ever awry. Where then shall be the one or the many to set right all the wrongs left by social generalists who made wasted the fruits of once plenty and most bountiful of our conquered lands?”

    December 6, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      "Love is in bitter pieces and left upon the dung heaps of desperations ills gone ever awry."

      Interesting. This particular quote reminds me of current family drama I'm dealing with.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • lionlylamb


      Many families go thru degrading issues of tattered ways and means. Although one battles for issues of whose stance is more the better, should one rightly parlor upon being the submissive even though one feels to be the better player? My brother of ten years my younger has not worked in years. I support most of his needs with nary a want for dispensation. I buy him cigarettes and do not ask he pay me back. I pay all the bills such as electric and water and property taxes. In submissions of another's needs one should ever find the act to be afforded upon those being as feeble minded yet never the more acquiesced to be of knowable discernments upon the feeble minded souls decentered essences.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Needing to offer help is not nearly as frustrating as said help being accepted with a bad att itude and a sense of ent itlement to said help.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • lionlylamb


      I am sometimes aloof of sentimentalisms and do take a battle stance upon brotherly loves. It hurts me aplenty afterwards! In my struggles to keep us two afloat and above the social waters, we yes do sometimes rub elbows. I love my brother for he is my only one and our blood is our bonds which is greater than the baptismal waters of any religious conscript! I do so love my brother's branch of the only tree left standing for our namesake continuum!

      May this years seasonal yearnings be of good cheers to you lunchbreaker!

      December 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  9. Saraswati

    The blurb on blasphemy laws in Europe is misleading in contrasting them to the Islamic world...implying they are based on Christian ideology. In fact, in Europe these laws were created to placate the Islamic population.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Huebert


      December 6, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  10. niknak

    Just another beautiful day without god(s).
    Hope you find it that way too.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  11. WhoCares!

    What ever.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • I do


      December 6, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  12. Fourth


    December 6, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • pi


      December 6, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  13. Third


    December 6, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  14. Second


    December 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  15. First


    December 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.